Sharing the Adventure

Geocaching with Tornado Warnings

Thunderstorm warnings didn’t stop us from taking off Saturday and Sunday to the Ohio/PA border area.  There were geocaches in and near the state game lands.  My goal was to hit my 200th geocache by day’s end on Saturday.  That didn’t happen. I way overslept so we got a late start (like early afternoon) and only found 9 geocaches and quit early because the last one we did drained me.

Our first geocache took us to/near the old potters cemetery. I had not heard of the place before.  There is a nice monument describing the history of the place.  Next came one that was a tiny camouflaged geocache placed in plain view.  I don’t know how my husband saw it but he did and we signed the little rolled-up log paper and were on our way.

We found one near the Battles Museum of Rural Life on the trail. I really enjoy these kind of geocaches.  You have to get out and walk the trail, see huge ancient trees, listen the all the thrushes fluting their song and hear the sound of a babbling creek nearby. For this one we had to make our way down a steep muddy crevice towards the end of the trail.  I didn’t bring my hiking stick so my husband made his way down there with my GPSr unit. The GPS accuracy was low with the overcast skies and tree cover so he searched a wide area.  I found a large stick and decided to get down there and give it a try. When I got about 3/4 of the way down, he had already found it. DOH! We didn’t have to resort to the clue.  The history of the canal, the dam, and rural life at the Battles farm was really interesting.

We found several cemetery caches and with that came lots of historical facts.  Several grave markers were of participants of the War of 1812.

We found our way to the state game lands where there were a few geocaches. We sprayed ourselves with some repellent and headed down the dirt road.  We spotted American Redstarts (little birds) and lots of butterflies and wildflowers.

That was a very pleasant walk. When we got to ground zero of where the cache was suppose to be, we had to do some real searching.  This was a really clever hide.  The clue was “get bent.”  I didn’t know if it meant you had to get down and lean over the edge of the creek or if it meant it was in a place that was bent, like a tree limb or bent metal. Maybe it could mean both.  I won’t tell you as it would give it away but my geo-sense kicked in and I asked my husband to check one more time in a place I thought it might be and sure enough, he came up with it. We had never seen a geocache container like that before.

The next geocache was a ways off the parking area .  It started off really nice.  The area was mowed and very pretty.

After walking awhile my GPSr pointed off the path.  It looked swampy so I wanted to continue on the path and see if it wrapped around later up the way. Sure enough, it did.  It curved around and was probably going to take us back towards the geocache.  The closest we could get on a path was about 100 feet from the geocache.  We were going to have to bushwack our way in.  The growth was so thick and the humidity was pretty bad.  I got my clothes and hair caught up in the undergrowth.  Some places were impassable.  I had sweat dripping into my eyes blinding me and the mosquitoes were thick.  My husband made his way ahead and found the cache.  I came in behind whimpering, exhausted and bug bitten.  We signed the log and noticed the marshy area we had seen when we were first on the path was right next to us.  It wasn’t wet at all.  We took that way back to the main path easily.  All that bushwacking was for nothing.  I was drained and we headed home.

I stayed up late Saturday night organizing the cache routes for the next day.  I didn’t want a bunch of  backtracking on the road as gas isn’t cheap.  We got another early afternoon start on Sunday.  I still needed 9 geocaches to hit my 200 mark. We headed for the Ohio line again but this time south of I-90.  We found some caches near covered bridges and cemeteries.  The thunder was rolling and the skies were dark. Severe thunderstorm warnings were being sent to our cellphones. I wanted to get my 200th. What was suppose to be my 200th cache turned into a “Did Not Find” or DNF.  We searched and searched and the bugs were so bad.  The air was hot and muggy.  We both put on long-sleeved shirts and had long pants on because of the thorns and mosquitoes. I had a head net on my head to keep the bugs out.  It was miserable and I felt heatstroke was upon me. I was ready to faint and had to give it up.  DNF.  I did get my 200th at one called “Stop at the State Line” and another where we stopped to get gas.

I had planned to head back to the state game lands up near Lake Erie.  The weather warnings were coming faster.  We reached the area before the rain started. We saw an immature bald eagle and a buck.

The sky was spitting a bit but nothing we couldn’t handle.  We hiked down a trail in the woods where  a geocache was hidden. It was getting pretty dark in there.  We couldn’t see well and it was slick and steep.  Lightning started lighting up the sky really close by and we hurried back to the car.  Another DNF. We’ll have to come back to this one as we didn’t get a chance to really search well.  It was about 6:30PM and quite dark. On the way out we stopped and watched the lighting over the lake.

If you look closely at the photo you can see a lightning bolt hitting the water (behind the memorial rock.)  I know, but in the original size photo it was quite impressive.  It was quite a show. On our way out of the game lands the rain started coming down so heavy our windshield wipers couldn’t keep up.  Tornado-warning texts started alerting our cellphones.  It was a wild and scary ride home.

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